Today, I want us to think about time. While Father has engaged us in this sabbatical search, we need to be meaningful of His time and our calling. While we busy ourselves with the activities of our search, let us remember that Father controls our calendar. There will be meetings He ordains from time to time for which we need to keep our eyes open.
What is the nature of these scheduled appointments? As we go about our search, He will from time to time bring before us people who need to experience His presence in any number of ways. They need time with individuals who know the reality of God's presence and His leading. Often it is those of us who are engaged in the search for our next assignment that have the time available to spend with these people. Pray that Father will open your eyes to these appointments that you may keep them well. Perhaps, the most memorable of the events will be those times when we served Him by meeting others needs.
Let's consider Job Fairs. A job fair allows you to investigate multiple businesses and job opportunities in a single event. These events may be tied to a specific industry or skill type or a cross section of diverse opportunities. Please remember that job fairs can augment but do not replace our other types of events which promote you in your job search. Job fairs do not have a high reputation for connecting the participants to actual jobs.
I would suggest that a job fair, at its best, gives you a place to practice talking with HR and hiring professionals. With this in mind, attending a job fair with firms you are not really interested in can give you a freedom to try different responses to the hiring questions and see the type of response you receive. This can help you refine your strategy for responding in the interviews you secure through your networking efforts.
A significant building block to our job search is the 20 minute coffee. This meeting has several significant components that need to be addressed - as appropriate - for the individual you are meeting.
When you request a 20 minute coffee, you should have a goal in mind. Based on who you will be meeting, you will want to gain new specific knowledge. gain insight for refining your search and seek at least one additional connection with whom you should meet.
Let's look at each of these objectives:
First, what specific knowledge are you seeking? Be prepared ... information about the business? About specific jobs within the business? Questions about the industry? Remember, by asking these questions, you are honoring the person you are hosting for the coffee by letting them know you value their knowledge.
Second, refine your search search by asking questions which let you rule out businesses or jobs. Anytime you can refine the selection of target companies and positions gets you closer to the specific jobs you desire. Do not shy away from questions that can trim the field!
Third. always ask for one new connection or introduction. Chances are if you execute the 20 minute coffee effectively you will get several new referrals, but be sure to ask for at least one new connection or referral.
Your quiver of questions should always include these questions:
One member of our group recently asked me how much of the job search time should be spent surfing the web for job openings and filling out applications on-line?
Let me preface this answer with the following principles we teach at Sabbatical Search:
I have know sabbatical search participants who only filled out online applications when someone at the company asked them to do so. Instead, they invested their time in using tools like linked in to network into the jobs they wanted.
To provide a more specific answer, I would suggest no more than 10-15% of your time (2 events or up to 6 hours per week) in random searches and filling out on-line applications. This time should be the last time scheduled in your current week's plan. Sitting in front of real people is going to be a better strategy than sitting in front of the "one-eyed" monster on your desk!
Information presented in this blog come from a cross section of our team members and staff.